Flight, fear and finally safety
On December 22, 1958, a young girl by the name Louise Justen – barely sixteen years old at that time – fled alone by train from Eberswalde to West Germany in order to escape her brutal adoptive aunt and reunite with her mother. “In the S–Bahn, the Schupos, (members of the Schutzpolizei – note by the translator), with their Shepherd dogs were staring at me suspiciously. It was at half past five in the morning on an S-Bahn, so it kind of seemed strange to them what a sixteen-year-old girl was doing there. The train terminated at the Friedrichstraβe, so I had to get out. My heart was beating like crazy with excitement. This ride only lasted for an hour but it was brimful with fear, real fear. I couldn’t help myself thinking ‘Now they’ll come and arrest me and send me to Siberia’. Then I stood on the platform and ate an apple out of desperation because the pastor had told to take an apple and eat it there in order to look calm. He said that that was very important. After an eternity had passed, a man that I had never seen before came to me. It was the West-German pastor, a friend of the pastor who had been helping me. ‘Put a red headscarf on and follow me’. That was the agreed watchword. I didn’t say a thing and followed him. Down the stairs, then to the left and on the other side right again, up the stairs. Then he stopped suddenly and said: Well, child, now you’re safe. Now you can come to me. Now you’re in the West’,” recalled Justen.